Appendix 2 of the 2013-14 Annual Report of the Committee on Educational Policy
The CEP is wholly in favor of supporting faculty as they explore current and future technologies in the development of new pedagogical models. We recognize that there are many exciting benefits that may arise out of such experiments, and encourage individual faculty to think about ways in which new technologies might enhance their teaching mission. However, we expect that any such explorations will keep in mind the particular context of Williams as an intimate, residential, liberal arts college. Some types of experiments are likely to be fairly modest in terms of the logistical, technological and resource implications for the College (“flipped” classrooms, use of “clickers”, video recording of lectures) and are in fact currently happening at the College , while others might present greater challenges in all these respects. As individual (or groups of) faculty develop new models, whether small or large, the CEP believes that the following criteria must be considered:
1) Student perspective
The educational interests of Williams students must be paramount in any courses or materials developed using Williams resources. In what ways will the new format enhance or detract from the subject matter and Williams students’ experience of it? Will students engage with others outside of the Williams community? Will faculty resources available to Williams students be diluted in any way? Are there any implications for students’ privacy concerns? (See Policy Statement on recording or videotaping of classroom activities.) Does it provide students access to content, methods, practices unavailable at Williams?
2) Faculty perspective
How does the new format/model enhance the core educational mission of our faculty? Does it provide access to resources, methods, or practices that are otherwise unavailable at Williams? Will it encourage collaborative relationships with faculty outside of Williams? Does it broaden faculty scholarship in some way?
3) Institutional perspective
Institutional resources are necessarily limited, and any projects that require the dedication of significant institutional resources must be carefully considered. In what way does the model enhance or detract from the core educational mission of the College? What are the benefits and costs to the the institution? What would the costs and benefits be of expanding the pedagogical model to a larger scale? How will the experiment be evaluated?
The CEP recognizes that there are many faculty who are already experimenting with new technologies and their applications in their courses. The CEP asks that faculty share their ideas for new pedagogical models (whether currently underway or under consideration) with us for discussion with respect to the criteria above. The Committee would welcome learning about current and future pedagogical formats in order to better understand the range of models in which faculty are interested, to provide information to faculty new to such possibilities, as well as to keep institutional concerns in mind.
The CEP will ask for updates from faculty on the use of new technologies and/or development of new pedagogical models when course packet information is solicited in the spring